Korean Thanksgiving or Chuseok is a time to give thanks to a good harvest and a time spent with family and friends to honor ancestors.
It is also celebrated by indulging in scrumptious dishes especially cooked to honor this occasion.
Without actually flying to Korea, Hyatt Regency Saipan brings to the island the best dishes served during this ancient tradition on Sept. 12, 13, and 14 at Kili Terrace & Café from 6pm to 9pm.
For two years now, Korea native, chef Shawn Lee, leads in perfecting the Chuseok Nights menu in collaboration with executive chef Hartmut Kehm, who is also familiar with Korean dishes as he worked at Hyatt in Busan for almost three years.
“We have different menus for the three nights. The first night we will be serving imperial food, second night Chuseok traditional food and last night is a homage to my hometown Jeju Island,” Lee said.
“Each night we guarantee different tastes and flavor and to enjoy the whole Chusoek experience, we suggest that guests come to the three nights to experience the Korean traditional holiday dishes that we will meticulously prepare,” Lee added.
A sneak peek at the menu will definitely liven up your appetite because Lee prepared a full circle of dishes from appetizers to the main course and dessert.
“The lineup of appetizers include Korean cabbage and white radish kimchi, fresh salmon and vegetables rolls paired with chili sauce, three kinds of pancake rolls made from spinach, carrots, and buckwheat. Our guests will be in for a treat as we will also serve jap chae or glass noodles with beef and vegetables and soy and ginger marinated crabs,” Lee said.
Japchae is a “friendly” dish to work out an appetite as Lee prepares this not spicy, filled with toppings most people are familiar with and the glass noodles are so soft that it glides in your mouth without having the need to chew it hard.
The soy and ginger marinated crab is definitely unique as they serve the crab raw. One may hesitate to try this but the experience is worth it. Lee makes sure that you will taste the kick of the ginger that goes well with the buttery flavor of the crab meat.
For the main dishes, Lee named Korean-style braised beef with root vegetables, stir-fried spicy pork and vegetables, assorted pancake and skewers, and steamed king prawn with vegetables as a part of the menu among others. “Korean dishes doesn’t scrimp on ingredients and there are no short cuts and we follow that so our guests will enjoy every bite,” he said.
The Korean-style braised beef is an example of a dish carefully prepared many hours before it is served. Lee cooked the meat so tender giving a succulent and melt-in-your mouth kind of meat. The flavors from the root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes give the dish that earthy flavor that will soothe you after a long day.
Lee said he hopes that guests will save room for dessert because they will serve gyesang yakgwa or sweet rice cake ball, vegetable jung-gwa (braised radish with syrup), and walnut ice cream. The sweet rice cake ball is the perfect combination of sweet and salty and the use of radish as dessert is genius as it is also the perfect combination of sweet and earthy flavor.
Known for going an extra mile to prepare dishes is Hyatt Regency’s signature that will surely make Chuseok Nights a wonderful experience for everyone. For reservations, call (670) 234-1234 ext. 26 or visit their website: saipan.regency.hyatt.com